BILL TO REGULATE DRONES, PROTECT PRIVACY INTRODUCED

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By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2013 (Washington D.C.) –The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act was introduce November 4 in the Senate.

“The FAA’s plan falls far short of putting in place the necessary privacy protections for the commercialization of drone use in U.S. airspace,” Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)said in a statement. “This disregard for the need for strong and comprehensive privacy safeguards underscores why we must pass federal legislation to protect innocent individuals from expanded use of commercial and government drones.”

Markey said that his legislation requires transparency on the domestic use of drones and adds privacy protections that will “ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans.” Markey’s bill would require law enforcement agencies to acquire warrants before they use drones to conduct surveillance.  A copy of his bill can be viewed here. 

He added, “I look forward to working with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to pass this important legislation to ensure the privacy of Americans is protected in this new age of expanded drone use.”

A similar measure has languished in a House committee since July.

San Diego is among six proposed testing sites for unmanned drone aircraft, a proposal that thus far is supported by all five San Diego Congressional representatives as well as Supervisors largely due to potential job creation.  But the citizens’ group Back Country Voices is mounting opposition to the plan, citing privacy and safety concerns.